Moss Trip chasing crowning glory in Tiara
MOSS Trip, arguably the most improved racehorse in training, can cap a stellar season for Michael and Chris Ward's Triple Crown Syndications by claiming the Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall's Tiara (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.
The Tiara is the 73rd and final major for 2017-18 and has attracted a capacity field of 16 quality fillies and mares.
This poses an immediate problem for the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Moss Trip, who has drawn the extreme outside barrier, will probably settle closer to last than first and then have to avoid equine traffic problems to secure a Group 1 win.
"The draw doesn't do her any favours but she is going to get back anyway,'' Michael Ward said.
"As long as there is plenty of speed on up front we would look to her finishing strongly late.''
Ward admitted that up until a few months ago he did not envisage three-year-old filly Moss Trip would develop into a Group 1 contender.
"She has come a long way in an incredibly short period of time,'' Ward said.
"When she won in impressive style at Kembla first-up back in January, we were hoping she might win a city race but here we are chasing a Group 1 - it has been a meteoric rise.''
Moss Trip, a $32,000 yearling buy, has won five of her 11 starts, including the Group 3 Carr Stakes and Listed Scone Guineas, earning nearly $470,000 prizemoney.
She is among five individual stakes winners this season for the Ward brothers' racing colours of all red with a white Triple Crown Syndications logo.
They have also been carried by super sprinter Redzel, winner of the inaugural The Everest, Group 1 Darley Classic and another three Group races, and stakes winners Emperor's Way, Dothraki and Secret Trail.
Triple Crown has another five stakes placegetters this season with Brave Song, Island Missle, Invincible Lad, Charlie Boy and Brazen Moss.
This means that 36% of all Triple Crown runners this season have won or been placed at stakes level, and since 2010 the Ward brothers have had 27 Group wins, to be the nation's leading big-race syndicators.
"It has been a fantastic season for us,'' Ward said. "The highlight was definitely Redzel winning The Everest.''
Redzel is back in work at the Snowden's Randwick stables and has already secured a slot to defend his title in the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 13.
"This time last year we were chasing a slot for Redzel so it is great to have that locked away and we can just enjoy the experience now,'' Ward said.
"He is back doing, light easy work at the moment - we are looking forward to the Everest build-up.''
Triple Crown has two runners at Royal Randwick on Saturday, with Smartedge and Island Missile clashing in the Dad And Dave's Turf Handicap (1200m).
"Smartedge is getting close to a win,'' Ward said. "He worked very well on Tuesday morning and that is indicative of a strong run. Island Missile has returned in great order, he is coming up a treat and should sprint well fresh.''